I was at my sister’s over the weekend and she mentioned how she was going to stop buying cookbooks because as much as she loved them, she didn’t cook from them nearly enough. I too am a lover and a little bit of a collector of cookbooks, particularly those that transport you to a different time or place. One of my favourite cookbooks to flip through is Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Yatim which is filled with locally inspired recipes, mouth watering food images and photography of the diverse populations that live and work in the politically charged city of Jerusalem. Though I’ve flipped through it numerous times, I have only ever made one thing from it!
In hopes of expanding my cooking horizons, I decided to select one of my cookbooks and make five recipes from it over the course of the next month or so – no crazy Julie & Julia type effort here, but still, an opportunity to learn. I have wanted to diversify my vegetarian cooking skills for a while now. My sister eats mostly vegetarian and I find the effort to eat thoughtfully and with less of an environmental footprint to be inspiring. I had said I would in the summer and then got so caught up with my family life that it all went by the wayside. For the challenge I’m picking Amy Chaplin’s book, At home in the whole food kitchen. I find it beautiful and well-written, and have wanted to try out several recipes from it for a while. The five I selected are
Whole-wheat fettuccini with kale, caramelized onions, and marinated goat cheese,
Crispy smashed baby potatoes with caper garlic yogurt dip,
Curried soca with cilantro coconut chutney,
Spicy black bean stew with crispy corn polenta and tomatillo avocado salsa, and
Almond butter brownies with sea salt (these look amazing).
As I make them I’ll try and share what worked and what didn’t. There are several ingredients in these recipes that I don’t normally cook with, black beans for one, and techniques, such as marinating cheese and caramelizing onions, that I’ve never attempted before. Here’s to trying something new!